Peter Fewing had no idea where the NCAA men’s soccer tournament selection committee would send his Seattle University team, but the end result was just fine.
In traveling to Loyola Marymount (11-5-3) in Los Angeles for a first-round game Thursday, his team avoided a cross-country trip he thought was possible — and his team won’t have to play Washington unless both reach the Final Four.
Washington handed Seattle U its worst loss of the season (3-0 at UW), and Fewing and UW coach Jamie Clark are friendly rivals.
“Neither one of us wants to play each other (in an early round),” Fewing said.
Seattle U is familiar with Loyola Marymount, having defeated the Lions 2-1 on a goal with 36 seconds left.
“It helps and it hurts,” Fewing said. “It helps that we know the facility, we know the field, and the climate should be good for us: It’s supposed to be 60 degrees and raining. Where it hurts us is we got a late goal that really looked offsides to a lot of people, but they counted it. We snuck away with one. … And they’ve got a bit of an ax to grind I would think.”
Seattle U (14-3-4) has a 14-game unbeaten streak, the second longest in the nation behind Missouri State (17-0-1). This is the fourth time in seven years the Redhawks are in the NCAA tournament, and they won their first-round game the previous three times, reaching the Sweet 16 in 2015. Fewing said he can’t answer how this team compares with those until after the season.
“But we’ve got a lot of good pieces and we’ve got depth,” Fewing said.
The winner of Thursday’s game will play Stanford, which got a first-round bye as the No. 7 overall seed in the tournament.